Methods—Data are based on 99.94% of all 2021 birth records received and processed by the National Center for Health Statistics as of February 10, 2022. Comparisons are made with final 2020 data and earlier years.
Results—The provisional number of births for the United States in 2021 was 3,659,289, up 1% from 2020 and the first increase in the number of births since 2014. The general fertility rate was 56.6 births per 1,000 women aged 15–44, up 1% from 2020 and the first increase in the rate since 2014. The total fertility
rate was 1,663.5 births per 1,000 women in 2021, up 1% from 2020. Birth rates declined for women in age groups 15–24, rose for women in age groups 25–49, and was unchanged for adolescents aged 10–14 in 2021. The birth rate for teenagers aged 15–19 declined by 6% in 2021 to 14.4 births per 1,000 females;
rates declined for both younger (aged 15–17) and older (aged 18–19) teenagers. The cesarean delivery rate rose to 32.1% in 2021; the low-risk cesarean delivery rate also rose to 26.3%. The preterm birth rate rose 4% in 2021 to 10.48%, the highest rate reported since 2007.
Author(s): Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D., Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H., and Michelle J.K. Osterman, M.H.S.,
Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics
Publication Date: May 2022
Publication Site: CDC